Memphis landlords suing Trump administration

Updated: Sep. 15, 2020 at 11:28 PM CDT
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UPDATE: The largest property management group suing the Trump administration dropped out of the lawsuit on Wednesday, Sept. 16. Wogan Group, LLC and Lennox were among the plaintiffs. Together, they manage more than 1,800 apartment units in the Memphis area. Attorney Josh Kahane wouldn’t say why Wogan and Lennox dropped out of the suit but did say, “unfortunately the CDC’s well-intended eviction moratorium appears to be a serious and unlawful infringement on the constitutionally protected rights of property owners, both large and small."

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Glankler Brown is representing multiple plaintiffs in this lawsuit who manage or own more than 7,000 apartments and townhomes in Memphis. These landlords claim they’re going broke because of the federal government’s order to halt evictions.

Wogan Group, LLC, the company that manages the Blair Tower, Rosecrest Apartments, and Kimbrough Towers, is suing the Trump administration over the CDC’s recent order to stop evictions through the end of the year.

The lawsuit claims “the Halt Order is unconstitutional and amounts to a denial of due process in violation of the Fifth Amendment and violates the Tenth Amendment and its anti-commandeering doctrine.”

Finally, it says the CDC lacked the authority to enforce the order.

COVID-19 shutdowns decimated the economy, leaving hundreds of thousands jobless. The eviction order is designed to keep people in their homes and off the street at least through December.

But the lawsuit says many landlords will go 10 months without receiving rent, suffering “significant financial loss and damage.”

Renters in Colonial Estates in Cordova, Churchill Town Homes in Orange Mound, and Center Court Apartments in Collierville, your property manager is part of this lawsuit.

“We look forward to engaging our judiciary and the Government in a meaningful and thoughtful analysis of the CDC order and the constitutionality, or lack thereof, of its' enforcement,” Attorney Josh Kahane said.

The suit names HUD Secretary Ben Carson, AG William Barr, the CDC, Secretary Azar and the Health and Human Services Department, the Surgeon General and Mike Dunavant, the AG in Western Tennessee.

A Virginia landlord sued last week, but this is the first lawsuit with multiple plaintiffs seeking to block the eviction ban.

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